It’s time for the Fight Pass prelims’ “main event”, with undefeated Brit Tom Breese taking on American Sean Strickland.
Strickland’s strategy of walking forward while throwing nothing offensively is a curious one, as it enables Breese to probe him with kicks and then with punches. Midway through the round Strickland finally does fire off some punches, but his reaction of backing up like crazy whenever the Brit fires back is a great indication that he’s more than respectful of Breese’s power. When the horn sounds it’s hard to imagine that Breese is ahead on the scorecards.
Strickland ups his aggression in the opening of Round 2, and this time around he’s throwing more punches and connecting. However, Breese continues to bang them out as well, so what we’re given is a kickboxing match where what matters is the scorecard and who hits who more. After Dong Hyun Kim and Polo Reyes pretty much died in the cage for us, this bout is lackluster.
The methodical kickboxing bout continues into the third, although a minute in we get to see Strickland try for some takedowns that Breese stuffs. Maybe Strickland scores a few times with his jab, and maybe Breese tags him with counters and some kicks to the body, but so what? With a minute left Breese snatches an ankle pick that puts Strickland down for the briefest of moments, and the finals seconds of the bout have Strickland in Breese’s guard dropping leather, so it’s hard to tell who’s ahead in the judges’ minds.
Result: Sean Strickland def. Tom Breese by Split Decision